Tag Archives: ACEDHH


The Arch at sunrise

Every year Dr. Baker and Jessica Scott travel to the Association of College Educators of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (ACEDHH) conference. This year we were lucky that the conference was hosted so close by – in St. Louis, MO! As with every year, we had a wonderful time connecting with old colleagues and meeting new friends! The conference hotel was very close by the beautiful arch, so we had a wonderful view out of our hotel room window!

The conference this year provided us with no shortage of ideas to implement in our classrooms and in the reading clinic. Jessica learned about an assessment of reading fluency and comprehension designed specifically for Deaf/Hard of Hearing children that can be administered in less than 5 minutes on an iPad. The assessment was created by Dr. Susan Rose at the University of Minnesota. So far this is making a great new addition to our instruction in the reading clinic! We also learned about systems in place to help pre-service Deaf Education teachers reflect on their American Sign Language abilities, which we hope to implement this year. The keynote speaker also told us about the importance of writing as a part of the learning process (as well as learning in shorter bursts over longer periods of time instead of learning a new skill or concept in one long session).

From left to right, Dr. Antia (University of Arizona), Dr. Baker (from here at TU!), Dr. Smith (Texas Women’s University), Dr. Lartz (Illinois State University), and Dr. Paterson (University of Southern Mississippi).

The end of the first night was a social hour where we got to catch up with old friends. It was so wonderful to be in the company of distinguished researchers and teacher educators who are all working to improve the education of pre-service teachers, as well as Deaf and Hard of Hearing students. This was not the only social opportunity, of course. The second night Jessica attended the bilingual Special Interest Group (SIG) meeting, where she was able to visit with professors and doctoral students from Gallaudet University, Columbia University Teacher’s College, and Lamar University, among others. All of these professionals are interested in the bilingual and bimodal development of Deaf and Hard of Hearing students, and a number of wonderful and fascinating conversations were had. And additionally, a former student from TU, Jessie Menchak is living in St. Louis and earning her master’s in counseling and an AA in interpreting. She was able to meet up with us for several days of the conference and attend the bilingual SIG social as well. It is always so nice to hear from past students and see how they are doing for post-TU life!

Dr. Baker and Jessica Scott’s poster!

On Friday morning, Jessica and Dr. Baker presented a poster on the challenges of conducting research in schools for the Deaf/Hard of Hearing, which was very well received. In fact, several superintendents of schools shared that they wished all researchers thought about these issues, and a representative of the National Leadership Consortium in Sensory Disabilities asked Jessica if she would be a guest lecturer to share this information with doctoral students in the field of Deaf Education!

The ACE-DHH conference is always a wonderful opportunity to connect with colleagues and researchers across the country who are interested in the same issues that we are here at TU. Who wants to join us next year in New York??


Learn About TU: Student Teaching!

Hello readers! We at TU are excited to be starting a new semester. We hope everyone is feeling refreshed after winter break! There are a lot of upcoming events we are excited about – the continuation of our reading clinic in February, the Association of College Educators of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (ACE-DHH) conference in St. Louis, and the International Reading Association (IRA) conference, where professor Jessica Scott will become the official president for the Deaf/Hard of Hearing Special Interest Group, just to name a few! You will be sure to hear about them in the coming months.

But in the interest of getting prepared for a new semester, here is another installment of Learn About TU! Because we have three seniors doing their student teaching at the moment, let’s take a few minutes to learn about the student teaching experience.

Deaf Education majors graduate with the potential to earn an N-12 teaching certificate in the state of Oklahoma. Because of this wide range of grade levels, student teaching is typically divided into two experiences, one lasting 7 weeks and the other lasting 8 weeks.

For one placement, we strongly encourage students to stay at the Kansas School for the Deaf, an amazing bilingual school only four hours from TU’s campus. Students are typically placed in either elementary, middle, or high school. Our student teachers also get to stay in the KSD dorms, which gives them an amazing opportunity to interact with students outside of the classroom and improve their ASL skills. As part of the agreement for staying in the dorms, student teachers will also typically work at an after school program – this may include academic tutoring, coaching, supervising clubs, and so forth. One of the Deaf Education professors will visit KSD campus towards the end of the internship to observe lessons and give feedback.

The second placement is typically within the Tulsa Public Schools, either in a self-contained elementary, middle or high school classroom, or placement with an itinerant teacher.

Students completing their student teaching get a wide array of invaluable experiences that will prepare them for teaching, including planning and teaching units and lessons, assessing students, implementing behavior management plans, observing experienced teachers at work, observing Individualized Education Plan meetings, coaching or sponsoring clubs, attending faculty workshops and development opportunities, and much more! All of our student teachers are in their second semester of their senior year.

If you have any questions about the student teaching experience, or about the Deaf Education program in general, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our faculty!

New school year!

Hello readers!
We hope that you all had a fabulous and relaxing summer and are ready to start a new school year! We at the Deaf Education program at University of Tulsa had a wonderful and productive summer, and are ready to hit the ground running for the new school year. We just wanted to share some updates with all of you!

Dr. Baker spent the summer giving trainings at schools for the deaf on language development and how to use the new tool she developed with colleagues at Gallaudet University and Lamar University. Her travels brought her to Kansas and to Pennsylvania.

Jessica Scott spent most of her time close to home working on various projects in Tulsa, including planning a 5K race to benefit the Total Source for Hearing-loss and Access. She also traveled out of state to collect data for her dissertation!

This year we are looking forward to a number of things:

1. Meeting new Deaf Education students, of course!

2. Learning whether we have received the grant for our reading clinic, and if so, getting that up and running again

3. Attending the Association of College Educators of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (ACEDHH) in nearby St. Louis

4. Jessica returning again to St. Louis for the International Reading Association conference to present her doctoral research and become chair of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing Special Interest Group.

5. Seeing several of our amazing Deaf Education majors graduating this spring and entering the field!

6. Cooler weather! (Last on the list, but it is pretty hot and will be nice to get some more bearable weather!!)

What are you looking forward to most for this academic year? Are there any upcoming events that we should also be excited about that we missed? We want to hear from you!

2013-2014 Highlights

It’s hard to believe, but we have reached the end of the 2013/2014 academic year – today was the last official day of classes here at University of Tulsa. We had a really incredible year! Let’s recap.

-We started off the year with the wonderful news that TU’s Deaf Education program received a grant to fund our juniors and seniors for up to 50% of their tuition! Thanks to the hard work of Dr. Sharon Baker writing this grant.

-The beginning of this year also saw the beginning of Jessica Scott’s joining the Deaf Education faculty!

-As part of her literacy course, Jessica set up a free reading clinic for Deaf and hard of hearing students in the Tulsa area – which went amazingly well! Thanks to generous individual donors and The Frugal Bookworm we got some excellent children’s and adolescent books to start off our collection. Thanks so much to the AMAZING undergraduate students enrolled in the Literacy course who spent an hour every week working with a struggling Deaf or hard of hearing reader!

-Dr. Baker and Jessica Scott had the wonderful opportunity to travel to Washington D.C. and stay on Gallaudet University campus for the Association of College Educators of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (ACEDHH) conference, where we heard from politicians, university professors and researchers about the latest theory and research in teaching Deaf students!

-Dr. Baker had a number of very exciting guests in her Deaf History and Culture course, including Laurent Clerc’s great great granddaughter, who works at Oklahoma School for the Deaf, Dr. Peter Crume, who does research on Deaf and hard of hearing students in Kenya, and Marie Guard, a local preschool teacher who is deaf and recently chose to have cochlear implants.Image Image


Wow! What a year – we feel truly lucky to have the opportunities that we do. Some things to look forward to:

-Jessica Scott is working on a grant to expand the reading clinic to an academic year, where tutors trained in the spring course will be paid to tutor students in the fall. The grant will also give us access to better assessments, more materials and more books!

-The OKRID conference will be on TU campus this summer! Anyone in the area interested in ASL interpreting or Deaf Education should register and join us!

-The TU faculty plan to start some collaborations with the Deaf Education faculty at USAO in Chickasha, OK – we will keep you updated as those develop next year!

Readers – what new developments are you most excited about? What other ideas do you have for our program? We’d love to hear from you!

On leaving the ACE-DHH conference and Gallaudet

photo 1Well, the Deaf Education faculty certainly had a wonderful and productive week in Washington DC, at the Association for College Educators of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (ACE-DHH) photo 3conference! What a great time, and I am so happy it was on Gallaudet University campus, which I got to visit for the first time! Dr. Baker had already been on campus since last Friday working on the Visual Communication and Sign Language checklist (VCSL), filming ASL directions for implementation of this amazing assessment tool designed to evaluate the communication abilities of young Deaf children. The checklist will be distributed by Visual Language and Visual Learning (VL2), a research group sponsored by the National Science Foundation. I (Jessica!) did not arrive until the following week, just a day before the conference began. But we spent that day productively – we had a meeting with some colleagues at Gallaudet and Lamar Universities to discuss a research project we are working on that will hopefully lead to some insights into how to better teach reading to young d/Deaf and hard of hearing children!

photo 2

Dr. Baker and I were also lucky to get to visit Kendall Demonstration Elementary School – KDES, the elementary school on Gallaudet University’s campus. Although they were busy, as is usual in elementary schools, we were lucky enough to get a tour of the school from one of the administrators. The school itself is beautiful, so many open spaces designed with the visual needs of Deaf children in mind. We also learned that they have a mandatory after school program for all students – which means that the students at KDES are in school until 5:30 every day! Can you imagine the opportunities for cognitive and linguistic growth these children have?

photo 3

And while we were leaving the school, we saw a flyer stand full of research briefs by VL2, one of which was authored by our very own Dr. Sharon Baker! It is about the importance and impact of fingerspelling on Deaf children, and has been translated into a number of languages. How exciting to see the work we are doing impact people not only across the United States, but across the world! KDES was not our only tour however – the VL2 labs very generously opened their doors to conference attendees, and we were able to see the space and researchers that have made so many contributions to research related to Deafness.

photo 4

That evening I was very fortunate to be able to attend a very exciting talk with some really excellent people. Dr’s Marlon Kuntze [see picture to the left], Ben Bahan [see picture below on the right] (who should be recognizable to those who learned ASL using the Signing Naturally series – at least the older version!), H-Dirksen Bauman, Beth Benedict and Catherine O’Brien all came for a panel discussion on the concept of “Deaf Gain” –
photo 5 the opposite of hearing loss! This discussion explored not only what individual students gain from their Deaf experience (linguistically, culturally, cognitively), but also what the world gains from the contribution of Deaf individuals (notably but not limited to: the football huddle, hand signals in baseball, closed captioning, and much more!) The conversation was lively, and I appreciated being able to see such amazing and creative minds discussing this important way of looking at Deafness.

The next day brought a number of wonderful presentations and opportunities to talk with others in the field. Dr. Baker presented a poster with colleagues from other universities about fingerspelling, a topic that is not frequently discussed in the literature. I attended a session about using Graphic Novels in a summer reading camp for Deaf students by Caroline Guardino of University of North Florida, and came away a lot of ideas that I hope to use in our tutoring program here at TU! I also had the opportunity to reconnect with faces from the past – a student I taught at Alaska State School for Deaf and Hard of Hearing is currently a junior at Gallaudet studying Social Work, and my student teaching supervisor and advisor from my alma mater, Flagler College, was also in attendance. A TU grad from last year, Stephanie Voss, also took time out from her master’s program to visit us on campus!

photo 2

Gallaudet University Press had a table with lots of books that have recently been published in our field, and needless to say I’ve come away with a wish list a mile long. (That also includes my love of some ASL number handshape clocks for sale in the bookstore!).

We also got to attend the Bilingual Special Interest Group meeting, a further discussion of Deaf Gain and how we can bring the concept of Deaf Gain into classrooms with Deaf children – capitalizing on their strengths and experiences as we teach them in multiple areas, including mathematics, literacy, and technology. These conversations were fascinating and important, and I count myself lucky to have been among colleagues who feel so passionately about these issues.

Finally, I presented this very afternoon on the use of translation during guided reading with Dr. Kuntze (of the Deaf Gain talk!) – we have been watching videos of children who are reading with their teachers and the type of translation they are engaging in – most commonly they are reading word for word, but we have some wonderful instances of children translating phrases and even complete sentences from English into beautiful ASL – a sure sign that students understand what they are reading!

I am writing this post from the Reagan National Airport in DC, reflecting on what an amazing time we had this week. Although it was very busy, it is so wonderful to be among passionate, committed educators who work with Deaf students (and those who are working with people who want to become teachers of Deaf students!). Although our work day to day in Tulsa can feel far away from others in the field, it is wonderful to know that we have colleagues that share our perspectives and experiences (and others who challenge these perspectives and experiences!). Monday, it’s back to classes and the reading clinic, but with a fresh perspective and new ideas from some amazing colleagues.

photo 4